Camping With Kids.

07.07.14 | POSTED BY kim IN Family Life, Inspiration

Senn & Sons // Camping

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Unfortunately I think my expectations for what camping with a preschooler and toddler will be like are vastly different from the reality. Wish us luck, we head out for camp today!

(Check out my Camping Pinterest board for some great resources for food, activities and supplies for camping with kids. The best checklist I’ve come across is from REI, it’s been a lifesaver as we prepare for this adventure.)



It’s time to put my “inspiration” for my studio revamp into action. It’s one thing to have a beautiful mood board to look at, but it’s a totally different ballgame trying to come up with a real plan with real stuff on a real budget. Here’s what I’m thinking.


Studio Design Board // Senn & Sons


My first step was to look around my space and figure out what I want to keep and use in the new space. I already  have these totally useful sawhorse style table legs from IKEA that I can use for my studio table, along with a linen pinboard, some smaller cork boards, a little desk lamp, a recycling basket, a vintage letter file, some vintage brass planters and a cute peachy pink vase from Heath Ceramics. Kind of an awesome start actually!

I still needed two tabletops – one for my computer desk and the other for the art table, along with a base for the desk, a bookcase for storage, additional drawers for storing prints and some extra boxes and magazine files. This is where IKEA is going to be my best resource. Their solid wood kitchen countertops are the PERFECT size for the space I have and they will be a great surface to work on. The bookshelf I found fits perfectly into the space and the shelves are deep enough for my printers.

I think the transition is going to be a lot more elbow grease than it will be new “stuff.” It’s all about getting organized, clearing my workspace to help clear my brain. Time to start cleaning out the space and getting ready to start fresh.

Senn & Sons // Studio Inspiration

It’s official, I need a studio revamp. The storage situation is pretty dire in my current space and the lighting leaves a lot to be desired. I’ll post before pictures later this week, but you’ll see how I’ve let my workspace get a little out of control – I take full responsibility for the disaster.

One of the reasons it’s gotten a bit messy is because I do a lot of different things in my studio. I sketch, paint, scan, design, print, trim, package, ship, research, manage finances, email, blog, store canvases and supplies, and do pretty much everything else related to my business in there. In order to make it work for me, I really had to think about how my space is going to accommodate all these different activities.

Beyond the functionality, I also had to consider what kind of “canvas” I wanted my work space to be – lots of bright colors for inspiration or more of a neutral backdrop to counteract all the color in my work? A visually stimulating space or something more calming?

The best place for me to start on these somewhat overwhelming projects is with a mood board – a super-simple visual representation of how I want the space to look and feel. The mood board doesn’t address all the space planning challenges or even the specific workspace needs that I’ll have to consider, but it’s a really great way to start thinking about the atmosphere of the space.

After digging through inspiration imagery and thinking about how I want to feel when I’m working in my studio, I came up with some really simple guiding principles and a visual expression of them (see the mood board above). My ideal studio would be bright and clean, simple and functional with A LOT of whitespace – both for visual and mental calming – and a few bright pops of color for cheer. I’m beyond excited about putting this plan into action and want to have it completely finished by the end of the moth.

What do you guys think? Would you want to work in a space like this?

{ all photo sources can be found on this Pinterest board and this one too }



kimberly and lisa congdon // senn & sons

Shortly after Freddie was born and shortly before leaving our home in San Francisco, I was lucky enough to meet one of my favorite artists, Lisa Congdon. She’s an incredibly talented Bay Area painter, illustrator, letterer, collector and now author, with a seemingly unlimited supply of creative energy.

Lisa announced last week that her latest book, Art, Inc. would be released late this summer and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. As someone who changed careers in my thirties, I’ve always been inspired by Lisa’s story as an artist – she also spent years pursuing other paths and didn’t start painting until her early thirties. Her success and downright cheerful attitude makes me want to work even harder to achieve my own version of success, and I’m sure this book will provide plenty of tips and inspiration to do just that.

art inc


I know that a lot of good things come from drinking margaritas with my girlfriends, but I never would have guessed that something THIS amazing would have happened.

Being able to collaborate with two of my dearest (and also insanely talented) friends on this short film for Senn & Sons was such an incredible gift.

The ringleader of the whole project is Maribeth Romslo – photographer and filmmaker extraordinaire. Her company Hello Sunshine Films is taking off, naturally, with her clever storytelling abilities and eye for gorgeous visuals.

She created the most wonderful piece that perfectly captures what I do and why I do it, from the inspiration for my designs through the entire process of creating prints.

But really, what more is there to say? This book’s already been made into a movie.

(Oh, there’s one more thing. THANK YOU for making this beautiful film, Mari!)

Shop Small.

11.30.13 | POSTED BY kim IN business, Inspiration


small business // via Senn & Sons // graphic by @1924us


With our bellies full of turkey and Black Friday nonsense behind us, let’s get out there and support our local small businesses today. I feel lucky to live in Minneapolis where we have a vibrant and creative small business community, which is so inspiring to me.

I know that most of the small businesses around here are  offering discounts in-store and online, so you can definitely take advantage of those deals today! If you check out the American Express Small Business Saturday site, you can even get $10 back when you spend $10 or more at a qualifying small business.

Happy shopping!

{{ image source : @1924us, 1924 x US }}

Senn & Sons - NYC street art

What a city. I’m lucky to have called it home at one point in my life and thoroughly enjoy visiting now that my roots are firmly planted in Minneapolis. My time there years ago produced so many amazing, life-long friendships that pick up right where we left off each time I visit. While an unmatched energy pulses day and night with seemingly endless options for eating, drinking, shopping and entertainment, my favorite part of the city is still spending time with those friends.

(Despite their above-average levels of attractiveness, it appears I took very few pics of these “friends.” Here are a few shots from my iPhone instead.)

Senn & Sons - view from roof of The Standard NYC

(views from the standard, east village)

Senn & Sons NYC street from above

Senn & Sons - NYC Street Art

(mural by revok + pose, bowery & houston streets, detail above)

 Senn & Sons - Barista at Gasoline Alley NYC

Senn & Sons // Gasoline Alley NYC

(stopped for a cortado at gasoline alley)

Senn & Sons // Wedding in Stone Ridge NYC

(elm rock inn, stone ridge, ny)

A huge congratulations to our friends whose marriage gave us the best reason to fly out to NYC for a visit. It was truly an incredible celebration!


My husband thinks it’s kind of weird, but still kind of cool, that I wanted to turn some old redwood floorboards into a piece of artwork.

I’m not going to say it was easy, but it was actually a completely fun process to go through. I guess when I get something in my head, I have to figure out a way to make it happen – even if that means employing cheap (free!) child labor.

From stripping the many layers of paint off this gorgeous, rich redwood to sanding it down and linking the planks together to form canvases, every step of the process was exciting and sort of unknown. We didn’t know if the layers of paint would easily come off. We didn’t know if it would look good to leave some of the old paint on the boards to add character to the piece. We didn’t know if hand-distressing painted floorboards would feel authentic or schlocky.

Now, I’m not saying this was all done completely uninformed. There was plenty of research and testing that went into the process before putting non-toxic paint stripper to wood, but overall, it definitely was a learn-as-you-go experience. I just kept referring back to what I wanted to create – it was in my head – and knew what I needed to do to make it happen.

The project started out as an idea I had after putting together this Modern Americana mood board based on the brief I got from my client, then it moved into a full-blown concept and finally,  a finished piece. I stressed the details. I took my time. And I am really happy with how everything turned out. It’s so different from my other work, yet somehow fits right in.

What do you think?


See the mood board post here. And a post about the supplies shopping trip here.

J’adore Le Labo.

06.24.12 | POSTED BY kim IN Inspiration

Apparently buying perfume doesn’t have to suck anymore. What was once an overwhelming sensory experience in a poorly lit department store with aggressive sales people spraying fragrances at you while you attempted to dodge them and their musky weapons, can actually be quite pleasant now. But you must go to a little place filled – but not overfilled – with delicious fragrances, lotions, candles and detergents… Le Labo.

The woman who helped me find the perfect perfume (Meg, you’ll love her too) told me all about the company, the founders, the new things coming and we chatted about how cool it is that each bottle is created by hand right in the store’s “lab.” (Aptly named, of course.) Once my fragrance was mixed, Meg handed over the most perfect, simple, personalized package I’ve ever seen.

I’m a sucker for good branding and packaging, and this whole experience pretty much tops my charts. And my goodness, I can’t forget to mention how amazing this stuff smells. I suppose that’s just as important as serving it up in a cute bottle.

(I bought that fragrance with my own hard-earned pennies and wasn’t perked for writing about it.)

I love the website Project Nursery for a million reasons. They’re such an amazing resource for all things nursery and party design, plus they’ve built up an amazing community of people who support each other’s design and creative efforts! I’ve been reading the blog for years now – starting before I was pregnant with my son and have always been so impressed with their content. I’ve loved watching the site grow to be what it is today.

I finally upload my first project to the Project Gallery, and the editors chose it as one of the best of the week! I feel so honored to have been included with three other adorable nurseries and parties in their Favorites of the Week that I just wanted to share it here.

If you have a minute, click on my project page HERE and “like” it. Hopefully the Sassy Southern Baby Shower for sweet Ruby will be a fan favorite!